By: Kaiti Reid, Adaptive Recreation and Inclusion Program Manager
“Hello, friend!” Isaiah exclaims as a familiar face enters the room. Each person who joins our group is greeted the same way, with a warm welcome and “hello.” I am sure Isaiah and others would agree; there is nothing comparable to the excitement of reconnecting with old friends and the anticipation of meeting new faces. As participants continue to arrive, the anticipation begins to build. Off we go onto our next adventure!
This is Teen Explorers. It’s fun. It’s friendship. It’s belonging.
The Adaptive Recreation Department at Reach for Resources focuses on providing opportunities for young people to engage in the community, connect with peers, explore their interests, and develop new passions. Teen Explorers has become a staple in the Adaptive Recreation Department and continues to expand each year. For those who might not be familiar, the teen participants meet at hot spots in the Twin Cities Metro to try their hands at activities like star gazing, pumpkin carving, cooking, and more. It’s an opportunity for teens to do their favorite activities, while finding some new ones along the way.
Meeting for fall, winter, spring, and summer sessions, Teen Explorers takes place on Tuesday evenings. Over the last several years, regular participants have developed bonds with each other and staff. It’s exciting to watch new participants ease into the program and develop friendships with each other. Each individual has a place at Teen Explorers. Participants looks forward to returning each season with new energy and ideas.
I believe that Teen Explorers is unique because the participants have input in the program. Teens share their interests and preferences with staff, and we make it happen. It’s a safe space to try new things. It has been incredibly exciting to observe our participants branch beyond their comfort zones and discover themselves. When I think about the teenage experience, I think about the importance of having a place to belong. Here, everyone is welcome and encouraged to be themselves. That’s what Teen Explorers is all about.
Know someone who might benefit from the feeling of belonging that Teen Explorers offers? Encourage them to look into this program.
Want to make sure more teens have the opportunity to be a part of this program? Your donation is needed! Help now.